Italy CT Roberto Mancini is unhappy with Gianluca Scamacca’s playing time and the West Ham striker has been linked with a return to Serie A, which does not entirely depend on the Azzurri forward.



“Scamacca is coming from an injury and doesn’t play much. The lads can improve only if they play,” Mancini warned on Monday, barely a week ahead of Italy’s Euro 2024 qualifying tie against England in Naples.

The West Ham striker is among the strikers who are not fully fit, causing concern for Mancio, who is already without Ciro Immobile for the next two matches against England and Malta.

Scamacca has been struggling with a knee injury in 2023, only making four appearances for the Hammers. He scored against Leeds United in the only match he started in the new year but watched the last four Premier League games from the bench, a scenario giving even more trouble to Mancini, who has been facing a selection crisis for the Azzurri, especially when it comes to strikers.

West Ham coach David Moyes said he was ‘impressed’ with Scamacca in October, but the Italian striker has slipped down the pecking order in the new year.

Scamacca is the designated heir to Immobile’s reign with the Azzurri, but Mancini’s unhappiness with his lack of playing time means something must change for the Italy international, who has yet to score his first goal in nine appearances with his national team.

The former Sassuolo striker has recently parted company with Italian agent Alessandro Lucci and a report from Gazzetta dello Sport last week linked him with a return to Serie A, precisely to Inter.

The Nerazzurri will send Romelu Lukaku back to Chelsea before considering a new loan move for the Belgian striker while Edin Dzeko’s contract runs out this coming June. Beppe Marotta had been monitoring Scamacca before his €36m move to West Ham in the summer of 2022.

A return to Italy is seen as a natural destination for Scamacca if the Italian striker decides to leave West Ham at the end of the season, but it remains to be seen which Serie A club could offer the Hammers enough money to convince them to sell.

Italian football is living in an era of economic contraction. Serie A clubs only spent €32m combined for new purchases in the January transfer window, less than West Ham had paid for Scamacca alone less than a year ago.

No doubt Scamacca would be a regular starter in almost every top team in Serie A. Juventus and Milan have also been monitoring the Italian forward in the past. The Rossoneri are still looking for a new striker for 2023-24, while the Bianconeri may need a replacement for the unhappy Dusan Vlahovic, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Even Roma could be in the conversation if Tammy Abraham leaves after two years at the Stadio Olimpico and the same goes for Napoli if Victor Osimhen walks out of the Stadio Maradona in the summer. Sales of big stars would give Roma, Juventus and Napoli enough resources to chase Scamacca, while Milan may have only €50-60m available for new signings.

In short, Scamacca does not lack options in Serie A, where he would get more playing time than at West Ham. However, the financial resources of Italian clubs remain the biggest question mark related to his potential return to the Peninsula. As things stand, only the sale of a top striker would give some clubs the money they need to persuade West Ham, provided that Scamacca remains high on their shortlist.


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